Saturday, March 31, 2007

Drugged

My 10-year-old cousin, Paige, sleeps on the floor of her parents’ bedroom every night because she is scared.

She is scared because her mother is ill.

My aunt, Jennifer, stands 5'8" yet weighs under 100 pounds.

She’s addicted to painkillers.

Jennifer has had neck problems for a while. She had surgery, less than a year ago, which was supposed to subdue the cause of her pain. Instead, Jennifer has gone steadily downhill.

She told my mother that she takes three Lortab (each of which are equivalent to two Vicodin) and three of something equivalent to two Valium – as well as a cocktail of other drugs.

And that’s what she TOLD my mom she takes. From what I understand, addicts usually underestimate their usage.

What she takes, my mother said, is more than she would give to a 250-pound man confined to his bed. Not putting his two precious children into his SUV and getting behind the wheel.

She does that.

And she’s finally starting to crack. We had a family party last Sunday. At the party, she mumbled to my mother about how she would like to get the names of some psychiatrists she would recommend. My mom didn’t ask any questions; she simply promised that she would get her some names by the next day.

Jennifer left the party early. The minute her car pulled out of the driveway, my uncle was ranting. "She’s losing it," he said to my mom and his sisters, "she called me today, while I was at work. She was crying, saying that she couldn’t make any decisions, that she couldn’t stand being around the kids."

They listened. My mom promised that she would follow up with psychiatrists the following day. But, she pointed out, she might need something more.

She’s addicted, Mom said, quite bluntly. You need to be prepared that she will need to approach her problems with inpatient care, be it for her mental health or for her substance abuse.

My uncle said that he understood. That he would do everything within his power to help Jennifer get better.

On Monday, Mom went to their house. She sat with Jennifer (my dad occupied the Paige and Max) while she sobbed. She admitted that she needed help. She agreed to impatient treatment.

But she wanted to try to get through her workweek. When the week was through, she would go to the treatment facility she and my mom agreed would be best for her and she would, at the very least, be evaluated. From there, the professionals would determine if she would be best for impatient or outpatient treatment.

Mom went back to their house on Tuesday. Jennifer remained a shell of a person.

By Thursday, she wasn’t going.

My mom is furious. Logically, she knows that addicts often back out on potential treatments. She knows that intervention wasn’t likely to work this time. But she wanted, so incredibly badly, for this to work. That’s my mom. She wants to fix the world.

My uncle is all "we should support her decision." My mother is thinking more along the lines of "she needs to hit bottom again. The sooner, the better." Because the sooner she hits bottom, the sooner she’ll go into rehab, the sooner she finds a solution to this problem, the sooner her kids have their mom back.

She told my mom that Max, who is six, has never known her unmedicated.

That’s the family drama I was alluding to. It’s so sad.

Friday, March 30, 2007

All compliments are good compliments

I'm sure that you guys don't remember Tom. But, I ran into him at my soccer game today.

He was at the facility when I played my first game, too. He said to me, "you'll score a goal tonight." I promised him that I wouldn't. And then went and scored the game-winning goal with a minute left in the game. Loved that.

Anyway. This is not supposed to be about my athletic prowess.

This is about Tom being a dirty old man.

When I saw him before my game, he was all "oh, so lovely to see you," in his cute foreign accent. He gave me a friendly hug and a peck on the cheek.

I saw him again at the end of the game. He waves me over to where he was standing and says to me, "you're looking great out there, since the last time I saw you."

I'm thinking that he's talking about my soccer. I smile and open my mouth to politely refuse his flattery, but he continues.

"It has been a few months since you had been here," he said (in reality, it had been closer to a year), "and you...you are in really good shape." I still think he's complimenting my soccer, because I am playing better these days. "I mean, your face has always been beautiful, but your body looks really great."

Old Tom was checking me out.

And while maybe I should feel buoyed by the fact that there is at least one man in the world who finds me attractive, I mostly feel dirty.

Old Tom was checking me out. Gah.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Hump Day

We have a family crisis brewing. It's big. I don't have the energy or the moxie to write about it tonight.

I'll spill it all. Eventually.

The shit that is the impending family drama has yet to officially hit the fan, so tonight I'll appreciate the monotony that was my Wednesday.

It might be a while until I have another gloriously uneventful day.

12:41 AM:
Colin calls. I shouldn't be excited and I shouldn't answer. I am, I do.
6:50 AM: My alarm clock interrupts a dream that I can't quite recall. I was about work, so I'm not that bummed.
7:15 AM: Gloria Jean's Hazelnut coffee, in my Hockey Hall of Fame mug with a bit of skim milk.
8:02 AM: Out the door, purse, lunch and a piece of toast in hand. I'm only two minutes late. I might as well be on time; I'm usually running 6-8 minutes late in the morning.
8:30 AM: I swipe in at work. Exactly on time, thankyouverymuch. Not that anyone polices that.
8:33 AM: Am enraged by first email I read. Am not surprised.
11:05 AM: I have my second breakfast of the day, Trader Joe's instant oatmeal that I always keep on stock in the bottom, left-hand drawer.
12:35 AM: Dad calls to inquire about the exact location of the Puma store in the mall. While I do not know the answer to this question, I am able to employ Google and provide him with the store's phone number. This, he says, is more valuable information than the store's location.
2:40 PM: Kevin's replacement comes in. He goes from insanely cheery to irritatingly pissy in approximately 11 minutes. I tell him this.
3:10 PM: Colin sends me the first of a dozen emails. I don't read too much into them.
4:20 PM: Coffee. I will sip it for the rest of the workday because I am very done with being productive.
5:35 PM: I return home, to a cold apartment and a plateful of sinfully cheesy Quakes cheddar rice cakes.
5:52 PM: Lucy calls. We chat, entirely about other people, while I get dressed for yoga.
6:15 PM: I leave for yoga.
6:18 PM: Lucy and I finish our conversation because she's at Taco Bell and doesn't want to chew into her phone. She has stellar manners.
6:33 PM: Yoga starts. A bit late. Even though you're never supposed to judge, I know that I kind of sucked at it today. Too much on my mind. But at least the pre-class music didn't make me cry like it did last week.
7:55 PM: The gravitational pull of Target (which is too close to my gym) has pulled me, unwillingly, into its force field. I look for sandals, but do not buy.
8:08 PM: I briefly consider continuing my sandal search at DSW. I'm feeling hyperglycemic, so I go to Chipotle instead.
8:15 PM: Vegetarian burrito in hand, I steer Stella towards home.
8:25 PM: A burrito and MTV. The world is a wonderful place.
8:40 PM: I move from the floor to the couch and kick thing up a knot by breaking out the knitting and episodes 6 and 7 of Grey's Anatomy, season 2.
10:14 PM: Blogging. About nothing. Because I'm afraid that I won't have nothing to blog about for some time.

I'll get to the reasons behind that. Another day.

11:01 PM: Bed.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Waiting it out

I've talked to Colin, but I haven't talked to Colin. You know what I mean.

Because of his job, he's in this horrible, insanely busy, soul crushing time of the year. He is getting no sleep, working stupid hours and doing too much for too many people in too many locations. I know a good deal about his job; his stress is palpable and it is legitimate.

I'm hesitant to throw another playing card atop the wobbly structure he continues to build.

If his house of cards collapses around him, our relationship will be among the many tragedies.

Should our relationship end (and I expect that it will), I want him to know that it has. I want him to feel the burn of its finality.
If I do it now, it will be just another item on his list of woes. He will bury it among his work commitments. He'll be too busy to really notice that I'm gone. He won't hurt enough.

I want him to hurt.

I haven't seen him. I don't expect to. Not for another week or two. Maybe longer.

I can maintain us over the phone. I will read his emails and smile. My heart will leap when his number flashes on caller ID.

I will continue to hold the threads of what is left of us. I will admire them. I will shower them with fondness and with nostalgia. And I will prepare myself to let the threads of us go.

When he is able to watch them fall from my hand, I'll let go.

He can hurt.

I've suffered more than my fair share.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Relocation

I don’t know what took me so long to realize this. But part of my innate dissatisfaction with my job, I believe, is that it requires me to live way out here, on the east side of the city, where there is nothing but chain restaurants and strip malls and cement and yuck.

Not that I grew up running through the tall grasses on the countryside, by any means. My hometown – and, thus, my comfort zone – is an hour from where I live now. The area where I grew up has its fair share of strip malls, cement and chain restaurants. But it is also rich in the character that this newer, plainer part of the region lacks. It is more diverse. Lakes are seemingly at every corner. And nearly everyone I know and love lives within a stone’s throw.

Living out here is living in isolation. I work (unfortunately) and then...I’m on my own. To go to the gym by myself. To stop by the mall by myself. To pick up carryout for myself. It’s a lonely existence. I don’t see it getting better.

Part of it is my fault, for living with one foot here and one foot back at home (where I play hockey, where I play soccer, where I skate and where I go to the bar with my pals), but part of it is just the reality of my location. This is where young families have set their roots: where the land is cheap and new construction is plentiful, where everyone practices the same religion, where there is a snazzy gym with free babysitting service, where there is an Applebee’s and a Friday’s and an Olive Garden and every other generic source of characterless, bland food to feed their growing families. It’s not the place for a girl in her twenties who has emotional ties elsewhere; I’ve been here for 18 months and it continues to feel nothing like home.

My ticket out would be a new job. And that, as I have done nothing but whine about, is not a change that is coming fast or easy. The economy in my dear Michigan could not blow any harder; I have doubts that my elusive career change will occur in the immediate future. After looking for well more than a year, I can finally accept that I might have to remain at this job for a good while longer.

Something has to change.

I’m considering not renewing the lease on my apartment. Moving closer to home, choosing an apartment that is close to one of the two major arteries that I could take to work. Moving westward would mean a 45-minute commute. And random dinners out with Lucy that aren’t choreographed three weeks in advance. Watching Grey’s Anatomy with the girls on Thursday nights. Playing soccer more. Dropping in to see my grandparents when I felt like it. Cheering for Max in his hockey games. Feeling more settled, less shackled.

It isn’t a solution.
I will still hate my job.
I will resent the longer drive.

It’s a compromise worth considering.
A new job would be better.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

My narcissistic weekend

Best Part of My Weekend Thus Far: Hearing the exclamation, "you're tiny! I never realized how tiny you are!" while the observer (an acquaintance) wraps his hands around my midsection.

Second Best Part of My Weekend Thus Far: A customer, who has nicknamed me Red (due to my strawberry blonde hair), who hits on me relentlessly despite being my father's age, who still happens to be one of the few in this business who I actually like and respect, teasingly saying "you complete me" after I gave him the answer he wanted to hear.

Yeah. So. Hopefully tomorrow brings something that is legitimately exciting.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Distance makes the heart heal faster

While I am not quite ready to give up on Colin (although this week has pushed me much closer), when I do, I have no doubt that I will need to quit him cold turkey.

No more phone calls, emails, movie marathons on his couch. I’d see him when I went to play soccer, but it will need to be limited to a polite smile and a half-hearted wave. Anything more than that and I will be pulled right back in.

Friendship is not a possibility. Which is a shame, because with all of our shared interests and our compatible personalities and the fact that he really is one of those decent guys who would do anything for one of his friends, we could’ve had one of those nice boy-girl friendships that end up in sitcoms.

A friendship would not work. And it would be entirely my fault.

I would find meaning in every word. I would have expectations for every encounter. I could never completely move on.

And, when I give up on Colin, I will need to really give up on him. Grow up. Move on.

I recently found my way to my high school non-boyfriend’s MySpace page. I haven’t seen him since I graduated from college. He traded in his jock label for Emo. He has a job – a job in which, unlike his high school homework, I don’t do his work for him. He lives in Portland.

It choked me.

When I like – I love – I fall without fear of hitting the bottom. I can’t seem to remember to protect myself.

I fall outstretched. I fall exposed.

It takes a long time to find the way back to my feet.

I don’t want to get over him.

I don’t want to hurt.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

There ain't no party like a Wednesday night party

As I was leaving work today, this college kid who works part time for us says to me "what are you doing tonight? Are you going to party?"

"If you consider shopping for yarn, going to yoga class and trying to get to bed before 9:00 partying, then, yes, I am."

I wish I would've known that I squeezed in time to put away laundry and that the simple thought of my boy drama brought me to tears just before yoga class. That really would've impressed him.

I'm living the dream.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

25 things I like about myself today

1. I restricted myself to one cup of coffee.
2. I finally sent an email that I've been meaning to write for weeks.
3. I allowed myself to really read and, thus, really feel the comments on my blog.
4. I ate oatmeal.
5. My toenails are pink.
6. I ran three miles.
7. I found the music to last week's Grey's Anatomy.
8. The shape that my body is in.
9. I did not call Colin.
10. I did not email Colin.
11. I made time to look for jobs. Twice.
12. I am all caught up on laundry.
13. That I can listen to my gut.
14. I made nachos for dinner and didn't feel guilty about it.
15. My independent streak.
16. My decision to skip the hockey practice that nobody else was going to, anyway.
17. I left for work on time.
18. That I managed to put together a cute outfit for the gym.
19. Having the balls to call Kevin on the sly to tell him about a job I thought he might have interest in.
20. Upon realizing that my shoulders were sore from kickboxing class last night, I stretched instead of popping a painkiller.
21. I was brave enough to try a new hair product.
22. I didn't go on a Sephora binge despite browsing its website.
23. My handwriting.
24. That I made time to unwind in the steam room after my workout at the gym.
25. Ability to realize that, while this drama with Colin is in my life, it is not my entire life.

Monday, March 19, 2007

A bit of back story

Colleen and I haven’t been friends forever. I should probably clarify that.

During the reception at Lucy’s wedding, Colleen cornered me. Drunk and emotional, words poured out of her. I stood before her, dumbfounded and flattered.

I never thought we could be friends. Lucy always said how similar we were, but I always assumed that we would clash. We didn’t! I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed getting to know you. I hope that, now the wedding is over, we can still hang out. I feel like we’ve clicked; I like being friends with you.

I pinned Colleen as an emotional drunk. And I liked her – and all of the other bridesmaids, for that matter – enough, but I couldn’t picture a continuance of the casual friendship of convenience that we’d forged.

It didn’t work out that way. Lucy was instrumental in pulling the five of us together for girls’ night out. We moved from each being one of Lucy’s friends to being each other’s friends, too. Those three additional friendships are still in progress; even in their immature states, I can say with certainty that the new friendships have been good for me.

Unbeknownst to me at the time of the wedding, she’s just an outspoken girl. She is forever blurting out the blunt, the shocking and the inappropriate. And alcohol really brings that personality trait out of her.

I am Colleen’s girl. So when we drink, I am not brutalized by her brashness. Instead, I am the recipient of her praises.

You are my hero. I want to be just like you when I grow up.
You do everything well.
All I want is a stomach like yours.


She worships Lucy in much the same way. And she is nice enough to the other two bridesmaids, but it’s not quite the same. To Colleen, she and I are nearly sisters.

As a group, we’ve spent too much time talking about Ryan, Colleen’s high school boyfriend.

Colleen dated Ryan – who she was completely and utterly obsessed with – for two years in high school. They broke up, but she never really moved on. He was always there, haunting her, the memory of him insisting that she had lost her one true love.

Ryan and Colleen got back together sometime last year. It was a tumultuous, intense affair. She fell back into love with him hard and fast. She relished in the second chance of their renewed relationship. This time, of course, it would last.

It didn’t. And when he dumped her shortly after Lucy’s wedding, she was ruined.

They broke up over five months ago. To this point, none of us have had a conversation with Colleen where Ryan’s name hasn’t been brought up.

We’ve recently enacted the No Ryan Rule – absolutely no Ryan discussion, rumor or innuendo – because she seems to need a forceful nudge to move on.

Maybe I shouldn’t have been surprised that she cornered Colin on Saturday night.

And maybe I shouldn’t be surprised at what she said to me as we were leaving the bar.

I wonder if it was because she doesn’t want to be the only one. Or if she said what she did because she genuinely believes it.

I don’t know her well enough to tell.

He’s your Ryan. He’s not right for you.

But how can she know me well enough to judge?

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Safe 'til St. Patrick's Day

I didn't cry last night, but I wanted to.

It was the culmination of little things - so many stupid little things - and my insecurities and the alcohol. And a song.

One of my favorite John Mayer songs. "St. Patrick's Day." Hitting just a little too close.

Here comes the cold
Break out the winter clothes
And find a love to call your own
You - enter you
Your cheeks a shade of pink
And the rest of you in powder blue


Colin would meet me and My Girls at our favorite dive bar. But for Lucy, Colin hasn't met any of The Girls. I was nervous.

The Girls don't know much about Colin, other than that he exists in my life. I don't like talking about him with them. It feels too private. I'm strange like that.

Who knows what will be
But I'll make you this guarantee


He came. It was midnight. I was glad to see him.

I always am.

No way November will see our goodbye
When it comes to December it's obvious why
No one wants to be alone at Christmas time


Colin brought friends with him. His party consisted of seven or eight other people - all of whom were very drunk - and a designated driver. It was crowded; they sat at another table.

His entourage included his high school girlfriend, who also happens to be a former soccer teammate of mine. I was quietly horrified.

In the dark, on the phone
You tell me the names of your brothers
And your favorite colors
I'm learning you
And when it snows again
We'll take a walk outside
And search the sky
Like children do
I'll say to you


He bounced between the two tables. I did a few shots with him. Colin was drunk, but not trashed. I wasn't. I had done my fair share of drinking earlier in the evening, but had slowed down long ago. I had no desire to get drunk. I never do.

No way November will see our goodbye
When it comes to December it's obvious why
No one wants to be alone at Christmas time
And come January we're frozen inside
Making new resolutions a hundred times
February, won't you be my valentine?


Colleen, one of My Girls, asked why the girls in Colin's group kept giving me nasty looks. I hadn't noticed.

And we'll both be safe 'til St. Patrick's Day

Colleen is observant and blunt. She gets bitchy when she drinks. When I went to the parking lot go retrieve my coat from Lucy's car, she took the opportunity to corner Colin.

I don't know what, exactly, Colleen said to Colin. I know the gist of it: don't fuck with my friend.

Colleen relayed a few things Colin said, too. I immediately read into it. I interpreted his words as saying that the relationship is one-sided: that everything from the emotion and the desire to the planning and the phone calls comes from me. That he couldn't care less.

I didn't hear the conversation. I didn't even ask Colleen to clarify. I put up my walls.

It's hard for me to put myself out there. I fear rejection. And the only reason that I can be as assertive and as fearless as I am in my interactions with Colin is because I was sure - absolutely positive - that he wanted it, too.

I felt foolish.

We should take a ride tonight around the town
and look around at all the beautiful houses
something in the way that blue lights on a black night
can make you feel more
everybody, it seems to me, just wants to be
just like you and me


I blew Colin off when he suggested that I join his friends at his house after the bar closed. I kept my eyes trained on my friends. I pretended to be engaged in the conversation. I would let him do his thing. I wouldn't be that overzealous, head-first-in-puppy-love idiot.

I had made myself vulnerable enough. There wasn't a better time than the present to protect myself by closing myself off. If he didn't care, then I wouldn't care.

No one wants to be alone at Christmas time
Come January we're frozen inside
Making new resolutions a hundred times
February, won't you be my valentine?


I left before Colin and his group did. I delivered a generic "nice to see you, have a great night" goodbye to everyone at his table. I turned and left.

If you think of me as just another girl, I will treat you as just another guy.

And if our always is all that we gave
And we someday take that away
I'll be alright if it was just 'til St. Patrick's Day


The sadness caught on after I got home.

I scolded myself for being so naïve.

We were over. We were so definitely over. He hadn't ever wanted us. He let me dress up our relationship as though it was a doll, never noticing that he hadn't so much as offered to buckle its shoes.

"She'll grow out of it eventually," I imagined him thinking to himself. "She'll bore of it soon enough."

I fooled myself through St. Patrick's Day.

I hated myself until I went to bed. I slept fitfully, always awaking with my stupidity at the forefront of my consciousness. I hated myself this morning. I promised that I would not be the one to call. I would no longer be the one to initiate. I would wordlessly give Colin the reigns. And he would drop them. And we would be over.

I kept my promise: I didn't call him today.

But it seems that he took the reigns. He called me twice.

Now I'm unsure.

As well as being one of the following:
1. The insecure child who overreacts to a meaningless snippet of conversation.
2. The stubborn ass who clings onto trivial slivers of hope.

And so I continue barking at my shadow and chasing my tail.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Huh

I was told today that I look Canadian.

I am not entirely sure what a Canadian looks like.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Internal quiet

I had an awesome yoga class yesterday. Some days – as my instructor always hammers into our impressionable little heads – yoga is a lot easier than others.

Yesterday is one of those effortless classes that I would love to duplicate. If I could, I would put a copy in my pocket, frame another for my wall and post it on MySpace and Facebook for old friends to be envious of.

After class, I felt awake and alert and generally awesome. I tackled the menial day’s more menial tacks – laundry and dishes and all of that – without so much as a care. Then I blogged happily and climbed into bed.

I read a few chapters of my book and, upon finishing a chapter, I held my breath and tried to figure out what, exactly, felt different. I’d since come down off of my yoga class high, it wasn’t that.

I realized, with a dumbfounded smile to myself as I exhaled, what it was.

I didn’t hurt.

As athletic and as busy as I am, I am accustomed to a life with constant, nagging aches. And last night, for the first time in what seems like years, nothing hurt. It was like the creation of the perfect storm: no hockey game this week, the massage I had two weekends ago and a really great yoga class combined together in a mixture that left me happy, pain free, and fucking shocked.

Today, my hamstrings hurt a bit.

Sorry. I should've kept that to myself. I couldn't resist.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Life as an independent greased pig

The single life, for the most part, is largely unappealing to me. I derive no pleasure out of spending excess time at the bar, playing the field, pretending that I'm more Sex and the City than I am, ever was or ever could be.

I do it, of course, because I'm 24 and single and have already spent too much of my life isolated from what is reality. I do it to be with my friends. I do it so I can say that I did. And because I usually have fun, even though it's not really my thing.

A part of the single life that I've grown to appreciate, however, is living on my own.

It's more than an appreciation, to be honest. I love it. I despise the location and I hate paying for it every month. And pretty much everything else is awesome.

Here is an excellent example: during the wintertime I get painfully dry skin. I am itchy and miserable every day. The only thing that helps me out is a moisturizing routine that is excessive, time consuming and a tad bit ridiculous.

On a cold winter night, you can often find me in front of the television with a bottle of baby oil and a tub of petroleum jelly at my feet. I slather myself, head to toe, in this very greasy and very disgusting combination so as to prevent the dry skin that threatens to drive me batty.

And then, while I continue to watch (trashy reality) television (or Grey's Anatomy) I stand around and wait for the goop to soak in a bit.

(Yes, I stand. I don't want to sit and risk getting grease all over everything.)

Now, if you were living with me and you were greasing yourself up like you were about to commit suicide in a deep fryer? I'd never let you hear the end of it. I'd also give you a really awesome nickname. I would call you Slick.

That's why I'm glad that I live alone. If I lived with someone, be it romantically or in a roommate situation, they would make fun of my daily greasing. Because I attract sarcastic assholes such as myself.

There are many other benefits to living the lonely life.

-I don't worry about bills being paid late, because I pay all of them.
-I leave piles of dirty clothes on the floor if I'm in a hurry and I don't have to feel guilty for making someone else look at my filth.
-I don't worry about there being enough groceries in the house, because I know that there's something I like in the cupboards.
-I dump my hockey bag in the middle of the floor when I feel like it.
-I don't have to sort the mail.
-There isn't anyone to do my laundry wrong.
-I can watch the same episode of The Hills three times without anyone questioning my mental health.
-I wear asinine ensembles to bed without a second thought.
-I can eat what I want, whenever I want. I don't share my food. I don't cook for anyone else.
-If I am feeling like a neat freak, my apartment will definitely be spotlessly clean and all (one) of the beds will be made.
-Nobody touches my shit.

Oh my God.

I just realized that I'm a control freak.

Damn. Maybe that's my problem.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Sunny distraction

Today was, without question, the most beautiful day Michigan has seen in 2007.

I needed it.

This job search really has me down. I'm expending so much energy and I'm not seeing any returns on my investment. For the last month or so, I have faithfully checked job sites (primarily Indeed) at least twice per day. I'm applying to the jobs that fit. I'm applying to the jobs that might fit. I'm applying to the jobs that I'm not sure about.

Not so much as even a nibble.

It's depressing.

And it became even more depressing when I looked at the calendar and realized that, one year ago this week, I was interviewing for that job in Chicago.

I've been looking for a new job for more than a year.

That's a hard reality to accept.

The weather, fortunately, diminished the importance of finding a new job for today. I opened my sunroof (or is it a moonroof? What's the difference?) and rolled down my windows and soaked in the sunlight. I decided to be happy that one more day of work was over instead of dreading the fact that there is no end in sight.

I changed into soccer shorts and a t-shirt the minute I got home. I inhaled a granola bar (okay, two granola bars), found my iPod and my soccer ball and headed off in search of a sunshine and soccer.

Generally, my attention span is pretty short, but I fooled around on the field for over an hour. Shooting. Tricky moves to humiliate defenders. Juggling, of course.

It was nice.
Simple.
Fun.

It required me to concentrate just enough. I needed to be aware of what was going on, of course, but the ball moves with me effortlessly enough to not require brow furrowing attention. In short: there was no room to think about work.

I ran a lot more than I realized.

I wasn't home two hours before I had to leave for hockey on two tired legs.

But not before lathering myself up with Jergen's Natural Glow lotion.

I was out in the sun, damnit. I might as well make it look like I was.

Monday, March 12, 2007

I am

Busy.
Always willing to make time.
Attached.
Hoping.
Just thin enough.
Independent.
Willing.
Ideal.
Confused.
Over scheduled.
Misinterpreted.
Waiting.
Blonde.
Dreaming.
The last thing.
Frustrated.
Deadly serious.
Strong.
Incredible.
Not as tough as I seem.
Driven.
Exiled.
Under appreciated.
Wishing.
Optimistic.
Quiet.
In enviable shape.
The furthest.
Bitchy.
Loquacious.
Just the right amount.
Delicate.
Immeasurable.
Critical.
Not a puzzle.
Not a game.
Comedic.
Aware.
Trapped.
Uncertain.
Proud.
Misunderstood.
Blue eyed.
Determined.

Trying.

Invisible.

Please don’t derail me.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Charming

The setting: the dining room at Mom and Dad's house. Mom's entire family sits around the table, watching Grandpa and Grandma blow the candles out on their shared birthday cake.

Grandma: [Blows on the candles.]
Grandpa: [Blows on the candles.]

[All of the candles on the cake are extinguished by the billowing breath of two 70+ year olds.]

Grandpa: [Turns to Grandma.] Good blow job.

NICE.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Simple and very dorky

Colin, in a personality trait eerily similar to my father, doesn't laugh often.

He isn't standoffish or humorless or incapable of emotion; he shows his amusement in other, subtler, ways. It isn’t the slightest bit bothersome, but I never fail to notice when he breaks into a genuine laugh. His laugh is musical and pleasing and I wonder if I will ever tire of hearing it.

It is the best, of course, when I am the trigger to his laughter.

I enjoy making anyone laugh. When I coax a laugh out of Colin, however, it’s truly a treat.

I made him laugh this afternoon. 3:00ish.

I’m still a bit giddy.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

R.I.P.

When you’re a curly girl like myself, there aren’t many things that you treasure more than good product.

There have been too many gels, mousses, sprays and serums promising the perfect, bouncing, frizzless head of curly hair that have broken my tender heart. I purchase with the highest expectations; more often than not, I am disappointed.

I discovered my current gel, L’Oreal Curly Somethingoranother, when I was in college. My hair was quite long in college and I was wearing it curly every day, so I was going through a lot of gel. It was fairly inexpensive – not wallet draining salon prices, anyway – and it worked really well.

While I’ve tried others, I’ve remained dedicated to that gel to this day.

Lately, I’ve had a hunch that L’Oreal was on the verge of discontinuing it.

Proving that I’m psychic.

L’Oreal has revamped their entire Studio line. The products are now dressed in chic and shiny black packaging. Some of the products have new and improved formulas or a different, cheeky name. AND SOME PRODUCTS HAVE BEEN UNJUSTLY RIPPED FROM THE HANDS OF THEIR DEDICATED BRETHEREN.

I’m gutted.

I have a decent stash in my medicine cabinet – three or four bottles, anyway – to keep me until I find a new gel.

But what if I don’t find a new gel in time? What if I run out of my current stash and I have a job interview and I have to go with frizzy, unmanageable curls?

What if I never find a new gel? I will be forever destined to a frizzy poof of strawberry blonde that will scare small children when I answer the door at Halloween. I’ll never get married, because people with scary hair never marry, and then I’ll never have kids and that will be a tragedy because I could pass my curly hair on to my children and CURLY HAIR LOOKS GOOD ON LITTLE KIDS even if it isn’t so becoming on their mothers.

I’m gutted.

If you need me, you’ll find me obsessively searching the product reviews at Naturally Curly.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Resolution Review 2

1. Read 12 novels.
I totally read this horribly trashy Harlequin. It was complete crap and I’m glad that I read it; I now know that if I ever have the desire to write a book, a romance novel is completely within my grasp. I might’ve even checked to see if Media Bistro was offering any online courses on the subject. Might’ve.

2. Find a new job or go back to school. Or, ideally, find a new job AND go back to school.
No new job. Haven’t signed up for any classes. But if action = progress, then I’m making progress. I’ve fallen into a fantastic pattern of checking indeed.com on a regular, obsessive basis and applying for the jobs that have appeal. That job fair was mostly a bust, but at least I exhibited some evidence of having a spine and went.

3. Go to the gym with increased frequency.
Gym: 8 times in February. Eight?! Yikes. I’m at 21 total visits of my goal of 175 trips to the gym for the year. Hmmm. I might be screwed.
Hockey: 5 times in February.
Skating: 6 times in February. I hate this. I want to skate more. More like 12 times per month.
Overall: 18 instances of physical activity. 10 less than January. Must refocus. Playing soccer on Friday nights will give me a boost in March.

4. Not make a weight-related resolution.
I didn’t weigh myself in February, which makes it nearly impossible to make a weight-related resolution. So I’ve got that going for me.

5. Knit more.
I didn’t touch my knitting needles in February. Bad girl.

6. Stop the incessant purchasing.
I have been a very, very good girl. I didn’t buy anything other than the essentials (food, gasoline), a little birthday gift for my grandma and the Swarovski crystals for my skating dress.

7. Visit with my grandparents more.
I saw Grandma and Grandpa once on a Friday afternoon, once for a pre-Valentine’s Day dinner and on Grandma’s birthday. They were all nice, long, quality visits. I hope to keep up on this, because I can see how happy it makes my grandma.

8. Cut back on the coffee/hazelnut cappuccino mix that I feast on allfrickingdaylong at work. It’s as bad as sipping on a soda all day.
I haven’t once broken my limit of one cup three days/week. In fact, I’ve dropped to something closer to twice per week. Holla!

9. Become a sweet-ass juggler.
As I’m starting soccer again on Friday, I’ve had a bit more motivation to practice my juggling. In my living room. The weather, obviously, is a deterrent. But I seem to be making a bit of progress. It remains an attainable goal.

10. Allow myself to trust Colin.
I don’t know. We haven’t spent enough time together for me to gauge. If nothing else, I think I’m learning to let things go. Obsessing, quite frankly, is exhausting. And if Colin wants to be with me and I want to be with him, then we’ll be together. And if it wasn’t meant to be, it wasn’t meant to be. Hours of relationship analysis won’t change that.
February’s resolution of the month: Start taking calcium.
Achieved. Love those horse pills.

A pinch to grow an inch: March’s resolution of the month
Eat more vegetables

Vegetables are often curiously absent from the meals that I prepare at my apartment. There’s no need. I like just about every vegetable, I’m just too lazy to prepare them. In March, I’ll include a vegetable in a minimum of 3/4 of the meals I make for myself.

On 2007's resolutions:
The Original
Resolution Review 1

Monday, March 05, 2007

A weekend to build on

My weekend with Meg was amazing.

All through the weekend, I kept praising myself for taking the extra day off of work. It felt like we had endless time and zero priorities stretching out before us, leaving us a weekend with no obligations and no expectations.

We didn’t do anything noteworthy: Friday was shopping and eating. Saturday was shopping and eating and a glorious one-hour massage and a quick trip to the gym. Sunday was more eating, no shopping, and a bit of preparation to assure that Mom and Dad didn’t come home to a trashed house.

Mostly, we did nothing. Together. And that was the nice part about it. I got my sweet little Meg all to myself. We were inseparable. I didn’t have to share her; I was happy.

Maybe it’s a little creepy, how much I treasure time with my little sister. I’ve always adored her unconditionally and, now that we each live an hour from Mom and Dad’s house – in opposite directions – and I’m bogged down by a full-time job and her life is consumed by being a collegiate student-athlete, we don’t get to spend as much time together as I would like.

We make the most of it. We fall back into our familiar patterns, each sprawled out on our favorite piece of family room furniture, eating ice cream and watching MTV. She accuses me of turning into our mother; I accuse her of turning into our father. We shop and go to the gym and bitch about our friends and tell stories of our various athletic pursuits.

It always goes by too fast. I blinked and it was Sunday morning. Meg was packing to go back to school; Mom and Dad were on their plane back to Detroit.

Meg and I didn’t leave – she would go west, I would go east – until after dinner. We had a third full day together. We didn’t do much and we liked it.

I had a mini breakdown on my way back to my apartment. My eyes welled up and my throat tightened, but I didn’t cry.

I just wanted to.

I felt – and, to be honest, I continue to feel – so trapped. I am so over this. Over my job. Over living on the east side. Over driving an hour to do anything with anyone I want to be around. I’m over my apartment. I’m over working but not making any money. I’m over being professionally under challenged. I’m over all of this. The majority of my life, really.

I want to live closer to home. I want to be able to skate in the mornings before I go to work. I want Colin to be able to stop by without needing to have a few hours and a half of tank of gas to spare. I want to watch Grey’s Anatomy with Lucy and The Girls. I want a job that gives me two consecutive days off per week so that I can go see more of Meg’s games and socialize with increased frequency and not throw a wrench into planning family parties because oh, don’t forget, Aly works EVERY Saturday.

I want a change. I need it soon. I feel like I’m drowning in the inconvenience that is a job that I foolishly allowed to dictate my entire existence to the detriment of all of the things that really matter.

I need to start over. I need to reprioritize.

I’m so over this.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Pretty Sparkly

My skating dress is finished!

It's gorgeous. It turned out better than I hoped it would.

I took a few half-assed pictures so ya'll could see.

These are the Swarovski crystals I decided to rhinestone the dress with. They're obscenely expensive, but completely worth it. The quality compared to some plastic rhinestone you'd get at the craft store is incomparable.


Here's the first side that Meg stoned. Meg tends to be a little obsessive when it comes to her crafts so, once she started on the dress, there was no stopping her. I didn't glue on one rhinestone; I didn't mind.


The front of the finished product.


Me wearing the finished product, in the dirty bathroom mirror.


I'm pleased that I decided to have some guts and rhinestone at the waist. I don't think it calls too much attention to that region.


The back of the dress via dirty bathroom mirror. Again, I love the detailing at the waist.


Side view.


Fun, right?

I love projects that turn out well.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Requesting assistance (yet again)

I need to get my shit together and email the family friend who works for the other family friend about his job because I'm interested in becoming his coworker.

Okay. That was confusing. Let's just say that, within my parent's circle of friends, there's someone who owns a business and someone else's son who works for him. Business Owner is in the process of expanding his company; there is a strong possibility that I can work for him if I am interested.

My mom got me the underling's email address. She is pressuring me to email him before I ever approach Business Owner because, quite frankly, she's this guy's friend and she'd rather me not jump into something that I don't like/want/excel at just because I want the hell out of my current job.

So I need to email this kid.

That's where you guys come in.

I'm envisioning an email with a list of questions that will give me an idea about the environment that I could be potentially be working in, the people who could be my coworkers and the work that I might be doing.

At the same time, I don't want the email to be too overly formal or serious. This kid is my age; our moms are really tight and his sister is one of Meg's best friends.

I have the obvious questions down - the hours he works, the amount of disgruntled customers he deals with, how much stress is involved - but I need help with those questions that will subtly tell me more. Like if people go out to lunch or if they just eat at their desk.

Ya'll are smarter than me.

So lets hear 'em, eh?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Happy birthday, little troll

Yesterday was My Grandma the Troll’s 73rd birthday.

She called me before I had a chance to call her. I feel a little guilty about that.

When she called, strangely enough, she called to invite me to her house for dinner. There’s nothin’ like cooking your own birthday dinner for your husband and your three granddaughters!

Meg called me at work to tell me that she would make Grandma a birthday treat. She was considering three options:
1. Caramel corn
2. Pecan pie
3. Chocolate cake.

I informed darling Meg that caramel corn is a snack, not a birthday dessert. And pecan pie is her favorite dessert, not Grandma’s. And that chocolate cake is absolutely appropriate for a birthday, so go with that.

I went to Grandma and Grandpa’s house after work. Meg and our cousin Anna were already there, sitting at the table, working through a problem that Anna was having with a knitting project. Grandma was buzzing around the kitchen, doing her domestic diva thing, refusing to let anyone help.

Before I had a chance to sit down, I saw it: the dangerously leaning, exceptionally goofy looking cake that my grandma had made for herself. Now, my grandma never fails at making a cake. But this (while I’m sure it would’ve tasted spectacularly) was not her best effort. She’d put the frosting on before it had a chance to cool. The frosting dripped off of the plate and onto the table beneath it. The stop layer was slowly sliding off of the bottom. It was a hot mess.

And a sure sign that you are not supposed to make your own cake.

The Powers That Be must allow you to make your own birthday dinner, because that went off without a hitch.

We tried to do the dishes, but Grandma yelled.

It’s her birthday, she can slave away if she wants to.

Grandma said that yesterday was the most fun birthday she’s ever had. I doubt that’s actually true, but we did have a good time.

I absolutely adore my family.
 
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